Margaret “Peggy” Ann Gardner passed peacefully Monday, October 18, 2021, surrounded by the love of her family.
Peggy, an only child, was born on February 19,1937, to Melvin Forsythe and Doris Forsythe (nee Buckey). Growing up, she enjoyed an especially close relationship with her grandfather, Herman Forsythe, who spoiled her with love and new dresses. A lifelong Marylander, she and her family enjoyed trips from their home in Baltimore to the Chesapeake Bay and Ocean City, and she fondly remembered working for Domino Sugar.
At the age of 16, while attending Glen Burnie High School, Peggy met the love of her life, Edward L. Gardner, Sr., and the two were married two years later on Christmas Day in 1955. They would go on to celebrate 65 years of marriage that included moves to Hampton Roads, Va.; Alexandria, La.; Glen Burnie, Md.; Ocean Pines, Md.; and most recently Severna Park, Md.
Peggy and Ed started their family right away, welcoming sons Edward and Thomas in the first few years of their marriage. In those early years, Peggy worked as a first grade teacher at Holy Trinity Elementary School in Glen Burnie, where her students remembered her as a kind woman with a deep faith. She and Ed would grow their family with two more sons, Mark and Scott, over the ensuing years, and Peggy would go on to work in the accounts receivable department at Commerce Electric for more than a decade.
A devout Catholic, Peggy was very involved in the different parishes she attended throughout her life, serving as a Eucharistic minister, and supporting Ed’s work as a deacon. She also served as godmother and confirmation sponsor to several of her 10 grandchildren, and earned the nickname Saint Margaret for her boundless patience. For much of her adult life she attended Holy Trinity in Glen Burnie, Md., and then Holy Savior in Ocean City during her and Ed’s retirement.
Peggy was the source of a tradition of baking in her family, passing down her sweet tooth and her recipes for coffee cake and fruit tarts. She was active in the Republican Women’s Club, and enjoyed traveling and reading. She and Ed explored places like Hawaii, Ireland and Italy, and enjoyed many trips to Walt Disney World with their large family.
Peggy was predeceased by her husband, Ed, earlier this year, but took great comfort in knowing she would one day reunite with him in Heaven. She is survived by her sons, Edward Jr. (Valerie), Thomas (Diana), Mark Sr. (Dawn) and Scott (Mary Beth). “Mommom” is also survived by her grandchildren, Meaghan, Amy, Mark Jr., Heather, Christopher, Nicholas, Rebecca, Joshua, Caroline and Adam, in addition to her 12 great grandchildren. She will be remembered by all of them for her quiet strength, especially throughout the final weeks of her life, her kindness, and her love of a good meal with her family.
“Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but you have surpassed them all.” - Proverbs 31: 28-29
In lieu of flowers please consider a contribution to: Hospice of the Chesapeake Foundation, John and Cathy Belcher Campus, 90 Ritchie Hwy, Pasadena, MD 21122.
The viewing will be private.
Friends and family are invited to a Mass of Christian Burial on Wednesday, October 27, at 11:30 a.m. at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Severna Park, Md. Interment will immediately follow at the Crownsville Veterans Cemetery.